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The Art of Being Woke

October 15, 2019

JOY

I find there’s a bit more to life than a simple stroll in the park and with all the complications and layers ever present its more like a stumble through an obstacle course. An existence heightened through the exposure of extreme contrasts, ranging from great polar opposites to gentle difference. This reality of life without true constants is something which fascinates me from the perspective of an artist and the more honest I try to be with myself the more my world is blown apart. These personal levels of deconstruction can be quite extreme in which I feel my own identity is so exposed that I fundamentally don’t know who I am with any significant clarity.  It makes me feel that identity in itself is partly a construct necessitated through the social pressures of society, when in fundamental existential reality we don’t have to conform to any set of defining principles. The truth of who are you? and who am I? may just be an ever changing feast of possibilities and impossibilities. Identity being composed of convenient  qualities we hang around us like the decorations on a christmas tree.

Horse Play

I don’t want to be too reasonable and congenial today 🙂 so I will express how pissed off I get with the basics of life and in particular the cliched hardship we artists are expected to endure, so here’s a little rant to try and explain it:  Yes, I feel compelled to share the excruciating anguish and torment I experience as an artist struggling to make ends meet. A life where keeping the Wolf from the door is a real and present danger each day, as I try to survive as a free spirit. Don’t get me wrong there are rewards untarnished by monetary concerns, rewards of a soulful nature and the realisation of personal evolution. But this constant battle to keep afloat is beyond any words I can use to explain, struggling just to survive under the heavy weight of constant pressure. But survive I do, just by the skin of my teeth, and it feels like being tested to the limit mentally, with no where to turn beyond facing the inevitable impossibilities. It’s in this state of statelessness where the artists minds are honed, a place where there can be no resolution beyond personal growth.

Over and Over Again

Writing this blog does help me face up to the challenge of surviving as an artist because I’m able to sound off about anything. I treat it like that place where you can say what you want without fear, think out loud  and evolve strategies to move forward. But probably most important is the development of my thinking and understanding of a (personally) deeper and more meaningful approach to artistic expression. A few years ago I remember feeling utterly lost but through my blog I found a way out of my own dead end and a way of seeing art and life from a perspective which suits my soulful purpose. And it was here that I found the key to release myself from the prison I’d created for my own life. That place being the identity I clung on to as a means of security and belonging, because I feared being lost in the vast chasm of an open mind. I was able to See with clarity and focus on exploring art as a timeless expression of humanity in spite of its dilution within the institutions of society,  a way to explore art freely without expectation. My mind liberated without the need to conform or suceed within the context of society. My art and life returned to the direction  in which I’ve always felt was a worthwhile lifes purpose, the search for personal evolution and expanded consciousness.

Tipping Point

In my own life, personal evolution means everything, just to know that I’m not locked in stasis is something which I find constantly reassuring.  I feel I’m now more in a state of change and evolving through a development in the way I understand society and the human predicament. For example I feel the way I see the structures and fabrication of society has become less opaque and more transparent as I have further disassociated myself from complete involvement. Now I see society to be more of a construct as opposed to the fundamental reality of my circumstance. By ditching the ambition and conformist expectations I feel free to explore more openly whilst maintaining a level of the product making which sustains my existence. That may just be what is called multi-tasking these days.

UP ABOVE

It’s quite ironic that in some way the personal suffering that many artists are subjected to, creates the tensions and angst within that spearhead the fight back to making and thinking in a more enlightened and penetrating way. That this adversity and hardship should you choose to accept it, will focus the mind into surviving and finding a more soulfully compelling narrative. Something that may manifest itself in art from the (knock knock at my door) and now I’ve lost my thread. oops!!!!!!!!!

INTERLUDE

I was just in the flow when a pleasant oldish couple just knocked at my door, they are Jehovah Witnesses and turns out they want to bring their God into my life. Unlucky for them I did tell them that God may not actually exist amongst many other things in our polite half hour of  parle. 🙂

Up and Away

NOW BACK TO BEING WOKE

Where was I 🙂 Yes I was banging on about suffering and redemption and how struggle may lead to wokeness and enlightenment. Something which is only really relevant in the context of ones own personal struggle, because each and every one of us are different. Hell that difference is possibly the one thing we truly have in common.

Under The Hat

Throughout my life I’ve always had a strategy to protect myself from taking myself and my life too seriously, so that I can jump away from the intensity of engagement. I do this by aknowledging my insignificance as a miniscule life form on a huge planet hurtling through infinite space. When I was younger and struggled in a more intense way with lifes meaning and placement in society I would look up to the stars untill I felt the comfort of insignificance. Bathing in the futility of ambition and ego in the context of inter planetary enormity, a reality beyond my comprehension and understanding. But I’m not a defeatist because I believe that through the art of expression  we are capable of feeling connected to the very force of life which throws us all out onto planet earth.

spin2

So everything matters as much as everything doesn’t matter, and everything just happens against the incredible odds of it never happening and we just sail on through and take it all for granted. Life is just beautiful, sad tragic and everything all at once, a bombardment on the senses that we just take in our stride as ordinary, but surely every moment of it’s extraordinary. In some senses we never truly know anything yet often we feel we know so much even about the impossibility of everything. What I have learned is that rationality and logic have no place in the chaos of life because it’s beyond the realms of simplification. Now I see it as a beautiful state of anarchy so often eluding any order, understanding and control,  so I guess you’ve just got to roll with it.

The sculptures in this blog are a collection of pieces I’ve put together for a mixed exhibition at the Iona House Gallery in Woodstock, Oxfordshire.

Thanks for looking and have a great day or evening 🙂

ps- still no spell-check so apologies for typos and spelling mistakes 🙂

2 Comments
  1. I think you would enjoy our news letter… and perhaps contribute some time?

    http://maineartsjournal.com/home-5/

    Liked by 1 person

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